Top 15 Team Collaboration Tools In 2020
I’m working on this article from the comfort of my couch next to my chilling cat, wearing my favorite mended jeans and a tank top with a permanent olive oil stain – and I know for a fact a lot of people are doing exactly the same.
I am not staying at home under the stay-at-home mandate and as a person who is trying to adjust to the new normal. I am a freelancer. I communicate with people via various technologies, I do most of my shopping online and spend a fraction of my week outside without feeling like I’m missing out. Most importantly – all of my work happens online.
Not much has changed for me since the coronavirus outbreak, but for millions and millions of people, things are vastly different now.
Around us, local economies are stumbling and healthcare systems are tensed up. The pandemic is drastically changing everything, including the way organizations operate and how people work, with a lot of us confined to our homes because of the strict quarantine measures that are only now beginning to ease up.
At the same time, work must go on. So, how can we sustain productivity and pursue effective and hassle-free collaboration when there’s so much ambiguity all around us?
Remote work has been around for more than twenty years. With the increase in mobile use, distant jobs and projects with heavily integrated technology, digital tools and apps have grown conjunctively to maintain this way of working.
The problem is that the change is too extreme – something akin to an earthquake, with most people struggling because they are facing daunting challenges for which they were not fully prepared. It’s one thing to communicate with someone on Skype one-to-one, but when you have to discuss important issues with ten people connected virtually, it’s different, more complex.
For those who have the remote work experience, adaptation to the new requirements is happening much easier and faster. Others have to learn quickly, engage more and try to keep up with the front-liners of remote work. In such situations, the determining factor of success comes from choosing and leveraging the right digital solutions for:
- Time tracking
- Documentation management and files sharing
- Project management
We have created a list of the most efficient collaboration tools that work particularly well for remote teams and employees who need to collaborate on common tasks.
1. Time Doctor
This platform markets itself specifically for time tracking for remote teams, which means that it allows you to track time across your entire team. If you want to have more control over your employees, you can enable a function that allows you to automatically take screenshots to ensure that everyone is on task. Additionally, you can view website and app usage to see what the team members are spending their time on.
This tool offers integrations with other top project management software like Asana, Basecamp, Trello, and many more.
This is an extremely convenient tool with a beautiful interface that lets you assign tasks to projects with ease. Toggl is great for recording data to generate timesheets, billable hours for invoicing and information for data analytics to identify areas where productivity needs to be increased, all the while measuring office and staff efficiency.
It’s perfect for someone who works remotely while being intuitive and very user-friendly, so that you can even track your personal time for improving personal habits.
Compared to other time-tracking software, most of which can be painful and tedious to use, Toggl is virtually invisible to the user and has everything you need for the time-tracking needs for a team of basically any size.
Communication is one of the core areas of functionality for collaboration software. Communication features across collaboration tools commonly include:
- Built-in messaging and options for live chat
- Conference calling
- Video chats with screen sharing
- Project-based conversations
This powerful tool was developed by one of the fastest-growing startups today and it isn’t just a strapping messaging platform designed for remote teams. Its well-crafted API, effective integrations, various bots, and ability to build on top of it with the help of the Slack app toolkit lets users adapt the platform to specific needs and easily create sophisticated workflows. During the six years since the launch, the platform has evolved and quickly transformed into one of the most flexible communication tools on the market.
At its core, Slack operates in channels – flexible spaces for all the team members, tools, and files you need to get work done. Channels can be public and open to everyone on the team, or private for sensitive or confidential conversations. Shared channels allow two separate organizations to work together and collaborate in real time.
Slack has shared some great tips on how to work remotely, stay connected, and get things done.
4. Cisco Webex Teams & Cisco Webex Meetings
Two other great platforms that deliver complete collaboration experience for enterprises and have already proven themselves as highly productive and reliable solutions for working remotely during the COVID-19 outbreak are Webex Teams and Webex Meetings by Cisco. Video calls, faster messaging, easy file sharing, and real-time white boarding allow teams to solve business challenges and keep work moving forward.
Since the Webex Meetings app has a deep level of integration with Slack, you don’t have to leave your Slack channel to have a great meeting experience. When you have both platforms in your arsenal, anything is possible, from extensive brainstorming to creating true team-work masterpieces.
Collaborating should not difficult, especially when there are so many great tools out there. With this particular platform, there is no more going back and forth between different apps trying to follow what’s going on and participating in conversations by copying and pasting the information from one page to another. Freshconnect allows you to have everyone on the same page, and with a record of all the interactions, everyone can understand the issue in full context, or chat to get more information.
Designed specifically for holding online meetings with co-workers and customers, GoToMeeting has everything you need to manage video, audio or web meetings from your desk or a remote location via cross-platform devices.
GoToMeeting offers some cool features for intelligent online collaboration like voice commands or Cloud recording, so you can start your next online meeting or audio conferencing just by asking Siri. There is also no need to take notes while you are gathering ideas with your co-workers with meeting recording and transcription. This platform is both convenient and feature-rich.
Collaborative work often calls for generating creative ideas and solutions, so we are happy to add to our list the ultimate brainstorming tool known as Milanote. This is an excellent software designed for creative professionals to support design collaboration and enhance remote working with a strong element of creativity.
Milanote will help you combine planning, ideas, and inspiration in a beautiful, enjoyable, and effective way. The platform’s flexible drag and drop interface will let you arrange items in the way that makes most sense for your project. You will be able to add videos, PDFs and design files for impressive briefs, or create amazing moodboards with your personal interactive notes. Built-in commenting, sharing and notifications will allow you to collaborate seamlessly with your team and clients wherever they are.
8. Zoho Connect
From keeping your workplace communication organized to handling the resources your team needs, Zoho Connect will provide you with everything you need for faster data exchange and better collaboration. This smart platform offers a whole set of advanced and comprehensive tools for the ultimate collaboration experience. If you give it a try right now, you will probably decide to continue staying with Zoho after things get back to normal.
Documentation management & file sharing
Another great solution developed by Zoho – online file management software with an intuitive interface that makes distant working efficient and keeps your team productive. With this wonderful app, you can say good-bye to annoying e-mail exchange and forget about dealing with long attachments. No more crew members juggling multiple copies of the same document.
Just add the documents you need to share to Team Folder after you have finished drafting your ideas in Zoho Office Suite and make them available to your team for viewing, editing, or commenting.
HighTail offers something unique – the platform has been helping thousands of creative professionals to share large video, design, artwork, photography, and presentation files for more than a decade. We are talking about really LARGE files – HighTail allows you to send and track files up to 100 GB. This is great not only for storing and sharing files, but for managing projects as well. HighTail has the potential to become your favorite collaboration tool ever.
Having to work on the same project together with a remote team can be challenging, but with this platform, every exchange, brainstorming session, or file-sharing can be done effectively and smoothly. Samepage is an extremely intuitive software that comes with efficient collaboration features and supports multiple ways to work on group projects and easily cooperate with colleagues.
This highly recommended platform successfully serves both small and large teams and provides its users with instant messaging, video calls, group task management, file sharing and real-time document editing. Samepage also allows you to have multiple teams running a different project at the same time without any problems. Every team’s tasks, goals and progress are separate and you can arrange everything just the way you like it.
Since project management is something that Samepage does exceptionally, with an extensive list of functionalities that improve any project that it’s a part of, we can proceed towards the Project Management tools.
As you can tell, Hightail, Samepage and Zoho are so powerful and multifunctional, that we cannot really draw a distinction between them and the software in the last category. Anyway, let’s see what is the next on the list.
Trello is a remarkable visual collaboration software that creates a shared perspective for your team on all your projects in a fun and gratifying way. Since it’s customizable, you can adjust it easily to fit your project’s needs. With over 100+ integrations with other essential tools like Slack, Google Drive, Jira, and more, Trello brings a unique and fascinating experience of cross-team collaboration.
Since Trello is all about organizing sticky notes on a wall, there’s no unwieldy onboarding process to get started, so getting everyone on board is easy. Log in, join your team and see progress across all of the team’s tasks and projects right away.
Basecamp has everything you need for developing projects from scratch. It helps with handling all project-related tasks and enables team members to communicate in a very effective way through a community chat that is incredibly beneficial for brainstorming and exchanging ideas.
It is worth mentioning that this tool provides a lot of diversity with respect to the templates, and this diversity of templates is unsurpassed by any other platform. These templates come with a genuinely advanced design that manages to establish continuous improvement while keeping everything organized.
The interface can seem a bit overwhelming initially, but once you get your bearings, you will realize how intuitive it is. It allows you to be completely aware of everything that relates to the project you are working on by showing you the tasks that have been completed and the tasks that are currently pending. With live desktop notifications, you won’t miss a beat.
Additionally, Basecamp allows you to add your client so they can have a peek at the development phase of the project, while you are in control what the client sees. You can also manage your previous projects by pulling up the earlier versions of your work. Overall, it’s a convenient and reliable tool that can easily handle remote teamwork during the coronavirus outbreak and beyond.
Gladys is a great project management software that combines quite a few advanced features for collaboration and innovation. It provides comprehensive tools for efficient project management, exploiting the potential to the maximum for achieving the best results. You can even create inspiration boards and use advanced project templates to save time.
This modern and well-designed platform has a beautiful and intuitive interface and it is a good choice for any remote team that is looking for an all-in-one solution.
The last software on our list is Miro – an awesome platform with an aesthetically pleasing interface for creative minds and visual thinkers. It allows teams to collaborate on projects in real time and see what the other users are doing on the screen at the same time as you.
Miro offers beautiful templates of diagrams, mind maps and workflow boards that can help you to structure your thoughts, insights, designs, mockups and the entire project design process.
With Miro, you can do anything from brainstorming with digital sticky notes to planning and managing workflows. And due to deep integrations with Google, Trello, Microsoft Ecosystem, Atlassian Ecosystem, Slack, Box, DropBox, Sketch and more, your team’s collaborative methods will be even more productive.
We think that Miro is one of the greatest apps for remote teams out there, and with Miro+Zoom integration that is arriving soon, you will probably get the best solution for your “adaptation to the new requirements” issues.